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Shoot: Demo Start to Finish

Lesson 21 from: Powerful Portraits using Body Language and Lighting

Stacy Pearsall

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Lesson Info

21. Shoot: Demo Start to Finish


Lesson Info

Shoot: Demo Start to Finish

No handsies, no handsies, okay. He's like, for me? I have handsies for you, love, okay good. Now, I'm going to demo it from start to finish. I'm not going to talk about what I'm doing, but what I would like you to do is observe, from start to finish, how I interact with the subject. I'm going to do my best to keep my camera on my shoulder with the tether. Alright, Charlie, place. We've got a subject coming in, place. You can watch right from there. Good job, boo. He's so cute. And I have a special voice for him, too. Alright, I'm gonna get my lights ready before we get the subject in, so I'm not fiddling with this, and they have my undivided attention. Who's our subject? Antony. Antony, Antony. I don't know if he knows what he's in for, right now. And again, the lighting isn't necessarily too much we're gonna worry about, cuz it's more about the interaction and to have Anthony Blair, to have Blair show me who they really are and establish an emotional exchange and a connection. So, bri...

ng on Anthony. Please and thank you. Can we switch to the capture mode, please? See, I'm already tripping over the. Anthony. Hi, how's it going? I love your hair. I appreciate it, thank you. That's fantastic, and you have got some artwork, too. Just a little bit, not a lot. Nice, I have artwork, but it's all hidden. We have to get to know each other a little more before I show you. Come on this way. Well I think I'm gonna start you standing, are you comfortable with that for a minute? Sure, yeah. Come on forward for me. Cool. Anthony, tell me about yourself. I do creative live on the daily. I do support, so, if you email in, you've probably talked to me. Outside of that I do music and lots of other arty stuff. Arty stuff? What kind of music are you into? I do dance music, primarily. More or less. With a variation of that basically, but yeah. (beatboxing) Yeah, there we go, yeah. More or less that, yeah. Got it. So are you big on staying up late? I used to, the older I get, the less frequent it is. You don't look too old, are you still in your 20s? No. Good for you, good genes, high five. It's the Avon, oh, sorry. Well you break it, you buy it. Okay, as long as we've established that. So, um, avon, amazing. Do they even sell Avon still? I don't think so, no. There's someone in the crowd who's like, I still use Avon. This is my chance in the chat, you can talk about it. Okay. Did I ask you where you were from, Anthony? You didn't. Where are you from Anthony? So originally, I am from the Bay area, but grew up here pretty much my whole life. So for somebody who's not from Seattle, what is the Bay area? Well, I moved here really really young, so I've pretty much known this, and nothing else. Okay. And did you go to a big school? I went to a public school. I think I was a graduating class of like 600? That is big. I had 80 in my class. Yeah my wife grew up in a small town, so she had maybe like 80 people graduate with her as well. Maybe we went to school together. Where's she from? She's from Cleellum, so it's like a little bit east of Western Washington over the mountains. And she came to the city to meet you. We met at a party, actually. Oh my gosh, were you deejaying? I was not deejaying. Oh, that's too bad. (beatboxing) Little white lie, I could just be like, yeah. Yeah, I like, yeah I totally won her over with my sick mix. And what do you do here, creative live? You said you answer comments. I do a little bit of everything, but, yeah basically if you interact with the website I'll probably talk to you at some point. Tell me, what inspired the pink hair. That's a good question, I don't know. I thought pink was a nice color. I like pink, I just didn't know if somebody in your family had breast cancer, and you were like this is in homage to that. Not really, but, I don't know. It's one of those things where, I kind of feel like it became my own brand, so. Decided to do it more frequently and kind of just kept it with it for a long time. And how do you keep up with pink hair? A lot of dyeing. Who does that for you, do you do it? Uh, me and my wife do it. Oh, so it's a bonding experience. Yeah, yeah totally. Now, tell me about your ink. Where to start? Yes, exactly. Where to start, which was your first. This one, it's a little bit buried now, but that was my first one. So, the color that's behind it, was that not there before? It was all black and white. So I got this one and this one together. Oh, you got them at the same time. Oh so was it like a? Yeah. Okay, so you're, does that mean, is there some sort of religious undertone to that? Not really. So when I was young, and like everybody's young, they kind of don't have an understanding of where they are in the universe, or what it is they're doing. So this one was supposed to be my actions, and this one was supposed to be, or excuse me the other way around. This is supposed to be me, this is supposed to be my actions so basically the idea was even though I can't see the bigger picture, I'm still playing my part in it. I guess it is a little bit, like you said, it is a little bit of more spiritual. I don't know when I got it, I didn't put as much thought into it. I think now that I've had it longer, it's more one of those things. Okay, tell me about the rest, then. How did that build? Uh, I have a friend who's a tattoo artist. So you're like, free tattoos, go for it? Well not quite free, she's gotta eat, but. I mean, the opportunity arose a lot of times to go get something done while she had some time. Awesome, well, I love that you support other artists. What's under that jacket? Is there more ink? There's a little bit more. Can we take the jacket off? I think I'm miced, so, well I don't think I'm miced, I know I'm miced. Well, do me a favor, I would really like to kinda see that a little bit more. Could we just rotate you a little bit that way. Like this way? Oh, perfect, yeah. Like pull it up, or? Well just show me, show me what that looks like. It's nice. Is that a Venus Fly Trap? What was that, rocky horror, is it Rocky Horror Picture Show? You're probably thinking Little Shop of Horrors? Oh, that's it, okay, so. Oh, did you want it up still, I'm sorry. No, you're fine. What was the inspiration behind the fly trap? With this lovely physique, you would not believe that I'm vegetarian, but. Oh, come on, I love self-deprecating, but that's a little too much. So, basically, I got the most ironic tattoo of the time I guess when I was young, was a plant that eats meat. And so I'm a meat that eats plants, I guess, so the opposite of that. (laughing) I actually like how thoughtful that is. That's actually quite ironic. So can you explain to me the rest of what's over here on your arm. So, the rest of it, is kind of a whole little weird scene. I kind of gave the jump off point to my friend, about let's just make a scene where there's like a powerplant or something, and we can just give options of what to do, so, more or less, these are all transforming from nuclear waste. Oh you went all the way up. Don't go in here, that's a bad spot to get tattooed. Recommend against that spot, right there. Ow. I was thinking of the weenus, that little chunk of meat. Yeah it's like bone, just against it, when you get tattooed that doesn't feel very good. Huh, interesting, okay. Now tell me about your wife. My wife, I met her, I'm gonna say 11 years ago. And you met at a party? Yeah, we met at a party. Tell me how you approached her. She was doing karaoke at the time. Was she any good? She'd been drinking. (laughing) But so had everybody else, so, you know. So she thought she sounded good? Well, I don't think anybody is the best at karaoke, that's why it's karaoke and it's not a profession. But you saw her singing off-key and you thought, "I gotta have that." (laughing) It's kinda hard to say. We actually both had mutual friends, and so we met through that. We were both seeing different people at the time. Oh, scandalous. But you know, so then we respected each other, and when the opportunity arose, when we were both single, we said hey, we knew each other from that one party that one time, and then started hanging out. And what was your first date? First date was going to a park and feeding ducks. Okay, are you a cat person? I have two cats. (screeching) I'm surrounded by cat people, this is epic. Oh, perfect, okay I'm gonna bring a stool in for you. And you can just plop on down there if you'd like. Okay, so, let me see how. Do you mind if I use the back of your seat? Tell me about your personal style. Personal style, like, need a jump-off point. Well like, your clothing. You said you have pink hair because that's your persona, so tell me a little bit more about that. When I was younger, I was one of those kids that really tried not to stand out too much. I was really shy and really nervous and I don't think a lot has changed as an adult, but I kind of determined that that was playing a big part of my life, where I was making choices based on what other people were thinking, rather than my own choices. And so, a lot of it comes down to kind of just saying, you know, it doesn't really matter what other people think. It's time for me to make my own decisions and do what I want, and do what feels right, so. That kind of influenced me to do a lot of different things in my life and kind of just be my own person and dress the way that I dress. So there's no real catalyst or anything, nothing amazing or special, but. But you are special, you're you. When you got married, did you have a big wedding? We had about 100 people, so. Intimate. I don't know if that's big or small. That was big for me, I think I had like five. I don't even know if I was there. I think most people don't know if they're there on their wedding day. I was like, is this happening? This is happening right now. It definitely doesn't feel like it when you get married. Okay, what is your five year goal. Five year goal. That's a good one. I would like to have art be a bigger part of my life. Being able to be more financially comfortable in making art, and being able to find those right clients, and be more self-sustainable. And maybe move into a house in the next five years, I guess. Dream home? Dream home, I would say, nothing spectacular, just a place where I can be a lot louder than I am now. Making music and deejaying really is not conducive to having happy next door neighbors. Especially if you're living in an apartment. With your two cats. Yeah. And your wife. Would it be in the city, this house? If you have seen, oh, thank you. If you've seen the prices of Seattle real estate, probably not, but I guess the dream would be to live in the city, but I'm not sure if that would be the case. Would you be like a top floor kinda guy? No preference, really, I've lived in a basement for a long time, so, anything that's not a basement, I guess would be nice. Well that's a goal. And do you see yourself in Seattle for the rest of your life? It's hard to say, I mean, opportunity is where it's at when it's at. You never really get to choose when that is, so. I would say, I really like Seattle, I would like to stay in Seattle, but. And what's your wife feel about that? She is one of those people who likes to redefine herself, a lot, so she's one of those people who likes to kind of live in the now and determine who she is at that time, so. We've talked about moving, and, I think it's one of those situations where if the time was right, and we felt like it was a better opportunity, we probably would, but, she's pretty attached to Seattle, as well. But didn't she grow up outside of the city? Yeah but she never really liked it as a child. She felt like she had aspirations for a bigger, a bigger place. It just wasn't there just wasn't a lot in the things that she liked. She's got similar interests to me, and likes electronic music and colored hair and living in a city like that doesn't really provide you the opportunity as much to be your own individual. What color is her hair? Right now, it's actually pretty similar. You have matching pink hair? Should I be looking at you, or should be I be looking this way? You're actually fine just doing what you are, nice and relaxed. Alright. Are you going to stay doing art for the rest of your life, you think? I think it's one of those things that kind of just become your day-to-day. It's not really something that I can foresee something. Even if I didn't have any fans, or just, came into a situation where it really wasn't convenient, I'd probably still find a way to do it at least on a regular basis. Do you have fans? I have a few. You have a fan base? A little bit. How does that feel? It feels misguided. I think anybody who makes art, or anybody who creates something, never anticipates for their artwork to be consumed in a large quantity, and so it's always kind of a private affair. When you're making art, you figure no one else really cares, so when someone else actually tells you they like it or they consume it as well, it becomes a really cool bond that you never thought you could share with other people. I can understand that. So bring your chin here, for me, good. Now what I want you to do is just tilt it just a little bit. Higher or lower? Nope, you're good right there, just tilt, just like that, good. Now put your hand under your chin, no I'm only teasing, only teasing, just look right here for me. I'm glad you got volunteered to do this. Or did you volunteer to do this? It was more of a tell than an ask. It's not that bad though, you're not dying. Has everybody else said that they've been told, also? I don't know, it's been kind of skipping around. For everybody who's kind of following along, I shoot in black and white because I prefer to show the tonality of the image, and I feel like, black and white cuts through distractions like color, and it allows me to focus more on the emotions of the individual and the light that's happening. So I set a preset so that when it comes through the camera it captures in black and white. It's still a row file, so it shows color, but for me when I view it, I want to see it in a tonality of black and white versus color. So, we've been having some technical, when it tethers in, it brings the capture in, for a couple times it will skip to color and it will come back to black and white, which is why you're seeing that happen. Hey, how you holding up? I'm doing good, how are you? You what? I said how are you? Oh, well thanks for asking. I'm good, I think, yup, I'm good. Alright. What's your wife's name, I didn't even ask you that. Her name is Jamie. Aww. Do you have a nickname for her? It's kind of embarrassing so I probably won't say it. (laughing) Well now you have to. We were driving in Taquilla, which is a city near Seattle, and she said why don't you have a nickname for me? And I was like, "what do you mean?" And she was like, "well, we love each other, "and everybody has nicknames for each other." And so, at the time we were driving near the street Minkler, of all streets, and I was like, "are you sure you want this, is this something "that you really want?" And she's like, "Yeah, I want a nickname," and I was like, "Your name is Minkler." This is your nickname now, and so we chose that, and so, it's changed a little bit and it's a little bit more endearing, so it's Mink, now. Oh, that's actually really cute. Yeah, it's better than what it was before. I kind of like that backstory. What does she call you in return? Well, it depends on. (laughing) I thought so, yeah. Depends on what side I am. You know, if I'm being good or not. Anthony, you're amazing. Thank you for being so revealing, for telling your story, you're off the hook now. Give me a hug. Appreciate it, thank you. I appreciate it. Everybody, give Anthony a hand of applause. (applauding) So in general observation, what I like to do is put my best foot forward. Give out positive energy, provide a handshake, assess and then analyze a little bit about what I'm presenting to him, what he's presenting to me in return and embrace that, and see how far I can go. Now I didn't go, dive too deep, as I actually did with you earlier today, only because I sensed that he was feeling a little trepidation in his body language, I don't know if you guys sensed that as well. So I don't want to push somebody beyond their comfort. But, I'll know, with those, who I can do that with. Anthony just wasn't one of those individuals I felt in that moment. But I felt like we got some cute moments, especially some of the laughing ones when he was referring to his wife, what do you think about that? So, all of the techniques that I taught you today about observing body language, and how to make a connection, did you see me do these really subtle activities throughout? What were some of the things I was doing? Let's get the mic in. Adjusting the hair. Adjust the hair. Okay, and what does that do? When I go in and I touch somebody that way? Getting close to him. Getting close, okay. I saw that when he was gonna show you the tattoo, he asked if he should lift his sleeve, and then you kind of empowered him and said, "well, just whatever." You let him choose how to show it to you, rather than say yes, pull it up, hold it here. Exactly, I am orchestrating, I'm not dictating. I'm just inspiring certain things to happen. What else did I do? You pulled the emotion out by asking the right questions about the tattoos, his wife, the nicknames, his hair, his style. Yeah, I could tell there were certain things he was interested in talking about and things that he was not. So by being more keen on the language that I could see lifted that emotion, that's where I started to drill down a little bit. Yes. You moved him while he was talking, very gently posing him in place. Yeah, did he look like he resisted it at all? No. Exactly. He just kind of went with the flow. Did I look like I went in with an intent to do that, or was it so nonchalant that it just happened organically? It happened organically. Exactly. You don't want to walk in like, oh my intent is just to be like, alright, just gonna move that. It needs to be so subtle. And just again, the word organic is so important to me, when I'm working with subjects, and working on posing and having them in my studio. What else, was there anything else that really stuck out to you? Oh, we finally get to hear from you. Can I actually bring in something of a negative note, is that okay? Absolutely. I felt that you did actually take the Mickey out of his music. I noticed that he, I felt that he kind of went back into himself as a result of that. I don't know whether anybody else felt that. I did notice that, too, yep. And I think perhaps my joking personality did not sit well with him, because we don't know each other, he doesn't know that I listen to that music, too, and I'm kind of making fun of myself. It's a self-deprecating thing, but yeah I definitely noticed that he didn't like that very much. But I also know that I need to maintain being myself. That if I don't continue to self-deprecate, and be who I am, and joke around, that I'm not presenting my genuine self to him either. So, we're not always going to jive. We're not always going to share similar opinions, and I don't go out with the intent of offending people on purpose, I know that I'll back off, but I will always be me. I take what I can, and I don't press down that any further, but I will always be me in the end.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

The Foundations of Light (PDF)
The Accents of Light (PDF)

Ratings and Reviews

Julie V

I had the chance to sit in the audience and absolutely loved this class! First of all, Stacy is very funny and is really good at explaining and showing examples of the body language. I loved learning about how to read people faces and body to know more about them. And recommended the class to my husband who is a therapist for this reason. The other part of the class was so awakening, I never really thought about how having the wrong lighting for someone's personality would bring something off on the picture. Once again, Stacy was amazing at explaining why this lighting would work with one person and not another by showing us examples. If you want to bring your subject personality into life on photos, I highly recommend this class!

a Creativelive Student

This class is amazing! Stacy is an awesome person and listening to her teach and review the class concepts was so easy and fun and entertaining! It is jam packed with information on how to connect with talent and clients. Plus you get to see Stacy in action with subjects in the Demo and Shoot videos. I highly recommend this class! I learned so much and feel so much more comfortable and confident working with a variety of people now.

Jovi Jhash

wow, what an amazing class to learn from. you covered all from body language to storytelling and to reveal almost the true souls of the subjects through portraits. Amazing work and thank you so much, Stacy and creative live team. Stay blessed

Student Work